Monday, March 21, 2011

Highlands farming field day at Tambul

Fresh Produce Development officer Conrad Anton (right) explains the work of FPDA at the field day.-Picture by MALUM NALU
Picturesque Tambul, Western Highlands, on the foothills of the majestic Mt Giluwe, came alive last Saturday when National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) highlands regional centre staged its third annual field day.
This event coincided with the 46th NARI council meeting which was held at Tambul last Friday, however, a lower-than-anticipated crowd attended the event.
An icy-cold typical Tambul downpour also cut short the event and had visitors running for cover.
With the theme ‘Enhancing sustainable farming for rural farmers’, the event provided an opportunity for the people of Tambul and visitors alike to learn about activities undertaken, meet scientific and technical staff, tour the grounds and facilities, and gather information on other activities NARI undertakes throughout the country.
This event provided the chance to people to find out more about the research and development activities undertaken by NARI in the high altitude highlands region of PNG and how they can source and adopt them.
Tambul MP and Minister for Civil Aviation, Benjamin Poponawa, was the chief guest, and was disappointed that not many people attended, given that his electorate is the capital of potatoes and fresh vegetables in the country.
‘Many more of our people should be here, however, they are not aware of the event,” he said.
“There should be more awareness about such activities in future.”
NARI council chairman Dr John Kola urged the local people to be proud that such an important institution was located on their land, and urged them to look after it.
“What is developed here will benefit the whole country,” he told them.
“When you look after this place, you are contributing to the development of Papua New Guinea.”
Major activities that were displayed and demonstrated include kaukau (sweet potato) silage-making for pig feed, village broiler production, improved pasture species, wheat milling and cooking, high-yielding pyrethrum clones, early-maturing kaukau varieties, and mini tuber production of selected potato clones.
Representatives from divisions of primary industry in Enga and Western Highlands provinces, Enga Pyrethrum Company, National Development Bank, National Micro-Bank, Correctional Services of Baisu, Porgera Joint Venture, Christian Leaders Training College, Tambul/Nebilyer district administration, Fresh Produce Development Agency, Jiwaka Women’s Association, Highlands Farmers and Piggery Association, MKL Vegetables, Laiagam district project office, farmers, and school children, attended the day.
Field days such as the one staged in Tambul are one of the means that NARI uses to allow stakeholders to come together to share information, exchange views and see for themselves the agricultural technologies and innovations being developed and tested.
Similar open days are organised in all NARI regional centres around the country, including the annual innovations show, which will be staged on May 5 at the Sir Alkan Tololo Research Centre at Bubia, outside Lae.

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